By Reena Bhardwaj
Washington [US], September 14 (ANI): US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on Wednesday held a discussion with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh over a range of recent security developments of shared interest, including in East Asia, the Indian Ocean Region.
Sources told ANI, that the telephonic call was initiated by the US side. It was a follow-up call after the “successful” India-US 2+2 Intersessional and Maritime Security Dialogues in New Delhi last week.
The telephonic call came on the heels of a “productive set of engagements in New Delhi” last week for the 2+2 Intersessional and Maritime Security Dialogues, according to a statement issued by the US Department of Defence.
“Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke with Indian Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh today to discuss a range of recent security developments of shared interest, including in East Asia, the Indian Ocean Region, and beyond. Their call came on the heels of a productive set of engagements in New Delhi last week for the 2+2 Intersessional and Maritime Security Dialogues,” a statement issued by the US Department of Defense.
Rajnath Singh raised India’s concern at the decision of the US to provide a sustenance package for Pakistan’s F-16 fleet.
“Had a warm and productive telephonic conversation with the US Secretary of Defence, Mr Lloyd Austin. We discussed the growing convergence of strategic interests and enhanced defence & security cooperation. @SecDef,” he said in a tweet.
“I conveyed India’s concern at the recent US decision to provide a sustenance package for Pakistan’s F-16 fleet. Look forward to continuing dialogue with Secretary Austin to further consolidating India-US partnership,” he added.
Meanwhile, in the statement, the Secretary congratulated Rajnath Singh on the commissioning of the INS Vikrant, noting the significance of the event for India’s role as a security provider in the Indo-Pacific.
The two defence leaders expressed commitment to expanding information-sharing and logistics cooperation as the US and Indian militaries operate and coordinate more closely together.
“In light of the evolving regional security environment, the two defence leaders committed to expanding information-sharing and logistics cooperation as the U.S. and Indian militaries operate and coordinate more closely together. Secretary Austin expressed his support for additional mid-voyage repairs of U.S. Navy ships in India following the historic visit of the USNS Charles Drew to Chennai in August,” it said.
Both of them agreed to initiate a dialogue later this year to deepen bilateral collaboration in space, cyber, artificial intelligence, and other new defence domains.
Secretary Austin and Minister Singh highlighted their commitment to strengthening defence technology and industrial cooperation to support India’s rise as an industry leader and regional security provider.
Both leaders also underscored the value of advancing cooperation through the Quad partnership to sustain regional peace, stability, and prosperity, including through coordinated humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
The two leaders committed to an ambitious set of initiatives leading up to the 2+2 Ministerial in India early next year, as the United States and India work to expand the depth and breadth of their cooperation swiftly.
They concluded the call by reaffirming the centrality of the US-India defence partnership to their shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific region, the statement said. (ANI)
This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.